Muster of the Overmountain Men brings Revolutionary War to life at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park!


The year was 1780, and the tide of the American Revolution was turning against the patriot cause.  The British gained new allies in the divided South and won victory after victory in a bloody civil war.  Charleston had fallen to the British, American forces had crumbled at the battle of Camden, and things were looking very bleak for the cause of independence. Then the impossible occurred! Frontiersmen west of the blue ridge mountains began a long march, gathering an army along the way from the highlands of Virginia to the hills of South Carolina.  At a place called King’s Mountain, they destroyed British forces and opened the way for the final American victory at Yorktown.

The route they took from Virginia to South Carolina, we now know as the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.  Come celebrate with us as we re-live the muster of the Overmountain Men, which occurred at Sycamore Shoals over two hundred years ago.

Join us at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, September 24th & 25th for the Overmountain Militia Muster. This weekend will be full of events centering around the story of the Overmountain Men and their historic gathering at Sycamore Shoals. From 10:00 am until 4:00 pm each day the Overmountain Victory Trail Association and the Washington County, NC Militia will present 18th century demonstrations and activities in and around Fort Watauga. Discover the vital role Sycamore Shoals played in the early frontier community, and how its significance would impact our nation’s history. Re-enactors in period clothing will be on hand throughout the weekend to share stories and demonstrations of that exciting and tumultuous time. 

At 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 25th the Overmountain Victory Trail Association will recreate the historic 1780 river crossing when Colonel William Campbell and 400 mounted militiamen from present day Abingdon, VA crossed the Watauga River at Sycamore Shoals to join Colonels Isaac Shelby and John Sevier in response to a threat from British Major Patrick Ferguson.  For the past 47 years Members of the OVTA have recreated this historic occurrence since 1975, following the same route and timetable as their legendary forebears from Abingdon, VA to Kings Mountain, SC.

While enjoying the activities of the weekend, be sure to visit the award-winning museum and interpretive center, and don’t miss the park’s interpretive film “Sycamore Shoals – Story of the American Spirit”. Also visit the Park’s Book and Gift Shop to take home a special souvenir or a gift for the history buff or avid reader in your family.  This fun filled and action-packed event is sure to entertain and educate all ages. The event is free of charge so bring the entire family and relive some of the most crucial days of the American Revolution.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th

10:00 – Raising the Colors – Join the Overmountain Men inside Fort Watauga as they assemble for morning instructions, militia inspection and posting the flag.

12:00 – “Every Seventh Man” – Oral tradition states that the Overmountain Men left behind one in seven to guard the settlements as they went in search of the tory army. Witness the Watauga Home Guard drill and hone their skills as defenders of the frontier. Learn about the different firearms used in Colonial America.

1:00 – “Keep Your Powder Dry” – Join historic interpreter Lisa Bennett to hear the story of Mary Patton and learn about the making of gunpowder on the colonial frontier.

2:00 – Pension Court – See how veterans of the Revolution were compensated for their service to the new nation.

3:00 – Walking in Frontier Footsteps – Join Museum Curator Chad Bogart for a guided interpretive walk along the park trail as he recounts the story of the Overmountain Men and the campaign to Kings Mountain.

4:00 – Event Closed – Join us tomorrow for another exciting day of living history!

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th

10:00 – Event Opens to the Public

11:00 – Frontier Worship Service – Join the families of the Watauga Settlement for Sunday morning service held in the courtyard of Fort Watauga.

12:00 – “Every Seventh Man” – Oral tradition states that the Overmountain Men left behind one in seven to guard the settlements as they went in search of the tory army. Witness the Watauga Home Guard drill and hone their skills as defenders of the frontier. Learn about the different firearms used in Colonial America.

1:00 – “Keep Your Powder Dry” – Join historic interpreter Lisa Bennett to hear the story of Mary Patton and learn about the making of gunpowder on the colonial frontier.

2:00 – Watauga River Crossing – TheOvermountain Victory Trail Association will recreate the historic 1780 river crossing when Colonel William Campbell and 400 militiamen from present day Abingdon, VA crossed the Watauga River at Sycamore Shoals to join Colonels Isaac Shelby and John Sevier in response to the threat from British Major Patrick Ferguson.

3:00 – The Story of the Overmountain Men – Hear the legendary story of the campaign to Kings Mountain and the patriot victory that turned the tide of the American Revolution. Presented by the Overmountain Victory Trail Association

4:00 – Retiring the Colors: Event Closed – Thank you for joining us for a great day of frontier living history. Join us next time!

For more information, contact

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

1651 West Elk Ave

Elizabethton, TN 37643

(423) 543-5808

www.tnstateparks.com/parks/sycamore-shoals

www.sycamoreshoalstn.wordpress.com

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